Beverage giant Coca-Cola and fast-food chain McDonald’s have taken steps to pressure football’s governing body Fifa to clean up its act in the aftermath of the corruption scandal that shook the football community.
Fifa was embroiled in a corruption scandal after criminal investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice led to the arrest of senior football officials and the resignation of Fifa president Sepp Blatter (pictured). While most of Fifa’s corporate sponsors had chosen to stick with Fifa amid the allegations, data from media intelligence platform Meltwater revealed that attitudes towards Fifa sponsors soured after news of the scandal broke.
However, long-standing sponsors of Fifa - Coca-Cola and McDonald’s - have demanded that an independent third-party commission be established to oversee reform of the organisation.
According to the BBC, Coca-Cola formally made its request to Fifa on 9 July, stating that it wants "one or more eminent impartial leaders to manage the efforts necessary to help reform Fifa's governance and its human rights requirements."
Coca-Cola released a statement to BBC saying that a presence of a third-party commission would provide the most credible approach to reforming Fifa and building back “the trust it has lost.”
When contacted, Coca-Cola and McDonald's confirmed the development to Marketing.
The soft drinks giant added, “We are calling for this approach out of our deep commitment to ethics and human rights and in the interest of seeing Fifa succeed."
Meanwhile, McDonald's also issued a statement, posted on its site on 17 July, outlining its expectations of Fifa:
“At McDonald’s, we know our customers around the world are passionate about football, and we share their enthusiasm. That’s why we’ve sponsored the World Cup globally for more than 20 years. But recent allegations and indictments have severely tarnished FIFA in a way that strikes at the very heart of our sponsorship.
As a result, we have expressed our concerns directly to FIFA. We believe FIFA internal controls and compliance culture are inconsistent with expectations McDonald’s has for its business partners throughout the world. We are not satisfied with FIFA’s current handling of the recent incidents that go clearly against McDonald’s culture and values.
FIFA must now implement meaningful changes to restore trust and credibility with fans and sponsors alike. The world expects concrete actions and so does McDonald’s.”
Some of Fifa’s other sponsors include Visa, adidas and Kia Motors.